The apex consumer commission has asked the Odisha state consumer commission to decide afresh a complaint against a bank, saying it is the fora’s duty to look into the matter and redress the consumer’s grievance. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), while allowing an appeal filed by a transport firm, said that while taking cognisance of the complaint, a consumer fora was supposed to go into all the aspects of the matter including its maintainability. The NCDRC bench, headed by presiding member B C Gupta, remitted back to the state commission the complaint against Keonjhar Central Cooperative Bank Ltd and asked it to dispose of the complaint within four months of taking cognisance.
“The interest of justice and equity demand that the state commission should have gone into the allegations levelled in the complaint and then decided the cases after considering the merits of the same. “The contention taken by the state commission that it was merely an account dispute and hence, the consumer fora had nothing to do with the same, was erroneous on the face of it and hence, the order passed by the state commission was perverse in the eyes of law,” the bench also comprising member S M Kantikar said. According to the complaint filed by the firm, Maa Tarini Transport Ltd, there was discrepancy in the balance amount shown in its account as per the statement issued by the bank and the statement in the computerised system.
According to the statement, the balance as on April 1, 2008 stood over Rs 4.36 crore, whereas the computerised statement showed the balance to be Rs 3.41 crore, it said. The complainant alleged that despite requesting the bank several times to reconcile the difference in figures, it had not taken any action to rectify the same. It claimed that despite the directions being given by the high court, the bank did not rectify the mistake. The state commission, in its order, had said that it was a matter pertaining to account dispute, which could be sorted out at the level of the parties and that the commission has nothing to do with the matter. It had disposed of the matter on August 3, 2011.
The firm then approached the apex consumer commission which said if the bank has indulged in any negligence or deficiency in service, it was the duty of the consumer fora to look into the matter and redress the grievance of the consumer.